Johnny Manziel concedes football career is “in the past, probably”

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Johnny Manziel is living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and playing golf now. He has conceded his football days likely are behind him.

Manziel, 27, is not retired, but it isn’t like his phone is ringing off the hook after short stints in the NFL, CFL and AAF.

In the past, probably, is the way I’d characterize it,” Manziel told Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalenche-Journal. “I’ve finally got to a point where I’m trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field.

“I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give it another chance, but I don’t know, as far as being a person and figuring out life as a young adult — trying to make it and figure it out — if I’ve ever been in a better place than I’m in right now. I can honestly say I’m happy and I’m doing the right things to try and put a smile on my face every day, and that means more to me than going out and grinding on a football field.”

Manziel was one of the best players in college football history, almost everyone would agree outside of some “blue-ribbon panel.” (He also had one of the best nicknames.)

Manziel won the 2012 Heisman Trophy while at Texas A&M, and the Browns used the 22nd overall choice on him two years later. He played 14 NFL games with eight starts, going 2-6 with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.

“During that time when I got drafted, I didn’t put in the time that I needed to be a great player and I don’t think my heart was in it,” Manziel said. “And I think when I went back to Canada, it was the same way. I truly believed and truly thought it was what I wanted to do, and my heart wasn’t in it, and it worked out the way it did.”

Manziel had fun playing. He didn’t have fun watching film or lifting weights or sitting in meetings or studying his Microsoft surface. It didn’t matter in college football. It did in pro football.

“I had a great time,” Manziel said. “Anytime I ever stepped between the lines, I had an amazing time. I gave it everything I had.

“I think it’s just, the work you put in when you have the free hours and when you do things on your own, that matches up accordingly with what happens on the field. And when you get to thinking that you’re too good or you’re better than the game, it’ll humble you. And that’s what happened. I got humbled. Thank God I did get a chance to be humbled, because when you think you’re at the top of the world, it’s a dangerous place.”

Manziel said he is playing golf six days a week, lowering his handicap to a 2. He remains close to his offensive coordinator from his Heisman season, Kliff Kingsbury, and the two again live in the same area code.

“People can call me whatever they want,” he says without animosity, “but at the end of the day, I’m proud of what I did. I’m proud of what I accomplished. I bettered myself. I bettered my family’s life. I got a chance to play amazing college football, and it didn’t work out in the NFL and that’s OK.”

52 responses to “Johnny Manziel concedes football career is “in the past, probably”

  1. If he gets a back up QB job over Colin Sack-Or-Pick look out for more riots and looting

  2. Waterboy or janitor are what he is qualified for. Seriously, hopefully he is still succeeding in his recovery and moving to build himself a meaningful life post football.

  3. His NFL career is probably over? Oh no! There must be collusion amongst the owners.

  4. He does not belong anywhere near an NFL camp. With that said, given a choice I would bring him in as a camp body before Kaepernick.

    In the end it was the drug addictions that did him in.

  5. I’m not sure what all the nasty comments are about. I just hope it’s a poor attempt at satire… Meanwhile, Johnny M did flame out. He wasted his talent, didn’t study, had terrible lifestyle habits. But he seems to be in a good place now, and I for one, wish him well. It didn’t work out. He’s moved on.

  6. Jeez, so much snide, snarky animosity in these comments. What the hell did he ever do to you? Seriously. He was one of the most entertaining and great college football players I have ever seen. He couldn’t, for one reason or another, follow through as a professional. Is that a goddamn crime? Back off, all of you. Enough.

  7. Cleveland here. I was at one of his final games when we beat San Fran. I wish him well. I really do. He just did not mature fast enough to realize what he was into. How can we fault the man? I still get his gear when I can find it. Look at the coaches and wonder why we were losers.

  8. Slip of the tongue Johnny. “Anytime I ever stepped between the lines, I had an amazing time. I gave it everything I had.” Think you meant to say “Anytime I was doing lines I had an amazing time.”

  9. I don’t see any way that he could be proud of himself for how he conducted himself as a professional. Sure, he can be proud of the money he fleeced if one can be proud of theft.
    bye felicia football

  10. I’d love to see his college completion percentage to receivers other than Mike Evans. He carried Manziel and later Jameis by his own talent.

  11. He’s 27. The money he made in the NFL is probably long gone. Not to worry, he’ll do what he has always done….mooch off his rich daddy.

  12. He has deamons. Right now he has them controlled. Here’s hoping that continues

  13. Don’t cry for Johnny. He has a job with his family if he wishes. Takes Ryan Leaf off the hook IMO.

  14. 1) Glad for him he found happiness. As much as the keyboard shock jocks on here might not understand – most pro football players have been playing every season since Pee Wee or at the least grade school. They weren’t really given a choice in the vocation. Manziel isn’t the first to realize he didn’t have a passion for the grind in the pros, and he won’t be the last.

    2) re: the latent Kaepernick hate floating around, thats funny. Kaepernick was good. Look at his career stats, or his final year’s stats, or his W-L record, or any unbiased measure. He was a legit pro-player, something Manziel was not.

    One understand he doesn’t deserve a chance, and doesn’t have passion. The other doesn’t understand why he’s not getting a fair chance, when he still has the passion, and he’s also right.

  15. @dabears2485 says:
    June 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm
    That was an honest assessment. Good for him.
    Not quite! If he had said DEFINITELY and not probably

  16. @imanidiot says:
    June 28, 2020 at 7:02 pm
    Jeez, so much snide, snarky animosity in these comments. What the hell did he ever do to you? Seriously. He was one of the most entertaining and great college football players I have ever seen. He couldn’t, for one reason or another, follow through as a professional. Is that a goddamn crime? Back off, all of you. Enough.
    Maybe if he had ditched the money gestures and not talked about tearing up the league people might be willing to back off. His privilege expired the moment he put on professional pads. Cleveland was stupid for falling for that farce of a “pro-day”. Reporters and coaches soiled their pants because he threw while wearing his helmet and pads. BUST and as long as he comes out for sunlight people will be waiting for him.

  17. If he is being honest, then good for him. I hope he has great success in whatever he chooses to do next.

  18. You know guys, my life is in shambles. I need to figure things out, figure out where I’m headed. I need to discover happiness. I’m 27, what am I to do? I think I’ll just golf 6 days a week while i rediscover myself.

    Wow thank so much for such an amazing redemption story, I hope Johnny football is able to pull through

  19. Sounds like he is growing as a person and realizes there’s more to life than playing a game. Hopefully he is laying off the sauce. Good for him.

  20. Not a Browns or Manziel fan, always thought he was a bit of a douche. But good for him. The guy won a Heisman, was one of the best and most entertaining college football players in our era and got to the pros. Accomplished more on the field than most. Sure he didn’t ‘meet expectations’ in the NFL but that’s like ~50% of players. He’s growing up, hopefully learned some stuff along the way.

    I’m a level-headed guy but can say I would prob. be a disaster if I was in my early 20’s and was rich, a celebrity, pro athlete / college legend, unending adulation, etc. Guy is finding his way in life just like all of us have done. Good for him on maturing… Not sure why the hate.

  21. He is better than what Cleveland has now for sure! Just wait Johnny today’s QB in Cleveland will be playing golf with you soon enough.

  22. so what does he plan to do for a job? if you 27 year old play golf six days a week and dont have to work it has to be hard to not be happy in life…right???

  23. If they has emergency allocations this year for every team, he deserves one of those spots.

  24. Hate all you want but he has achieved what all of us should be striving for- to be happy.
    He is humble and admits his mistakes. Move on. None of you have won a Heisman or made it to the NFL

  25. Let’s see: a self described 20’s guy w/ lots of $ and partying w/ friends. Sounds like Ryan Leaf 2.0.

  26. I’m not much of a college football fan, but I was shocked to learn that Texas A&M basically had no playbook when Johnny was there. He was allowed to play street ball, and he was good at it, and it came easy for him. The NFL was work, and Johnny wasn’t wired to work. Playing golf 6 days a week sounds like he still doesn’t want to work. He should have stayed at A&M another year and enjoyed the college ride.

  27. There is a lot you can point at with this guy in regards to character flaws and actual on field production… but it’s REALLY nice to see someone being humbled and not screaming victim for once.

  28. He could have owned Canada like Doug Flutie and Jeff Garica and worked his way back into the NFL. I wanted him to succeed. We are all better off when an exciting player is on the field. It is a real shame that he wasted his career.

  29. His immaturity resulted in colossal waste of his talent. So at 27 he’s going to spend the rest of his life playing golf?

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